Hollywood Beach Review – Great combination of a Beautiful Beach and Hard Rock Casino nearby…
Written by - Alex Richwagen June 2014
Hollywood Beach is just 30 minutes north of the more well-known Fort Lauderdale Beach and Miami Beach on the east coast of Florida. This is a really great beach spot that’s just down the road from the more publicized beaches above and can be just as fun. The sand is extremely clean and is an illustrious example of the beautiful beaches throughout Florida.
The landscape itself has a moderate incline from the shore, making the shoreline less than flat, but is still fine for walking. Within the water, it’s not uncommon to see Dolphins swimming around about 50 feet offshore, so keep your eyes open. If you remember, bring your water games to play in the ocean like Cornholeonwater with your friends. I would categorize the main strip of Hollywood Beach as upscale with a perfect backset for conventions and business executives. Keep in mind if you do want to venture down to Miami Beach, it’s only a hop, skip, and jump away.
There’s plenty of room for families with a close by Publix and public access. The public access points for the beach and parking can be found here on the local government website. There are several points that are quite family friendly; however, there is a major difference between Hollywood Beach and other beaches around Florida. This beach just so happens to have a casino right down the street. Let me clarify, there a few casinos in the area about 10-15 minutes from the beach, but the most famous attraction is the Hollywood Hard Rock Casino Hotel.
The Hollywood Hard Rock area has a great number of bars, restaurants, and live entertainment. Live entertainment consists of everything from comedy shows at The Improv to live music at Hard Rock Live or the quad area in the middle of the bars and the poker room. I frequently refer to this as the Hard Rock Island because once you get there, there’s no reason to really leave as there’s so much to do all in one spot without venturing off.
Easily the best spot to stay at in Hollywood Beach is the Westin Diplomat Hotel on South Ocean Drive. The hotel itself is in one word “spectacular”. There are two main towers overlooking both the ocean water and the inlets where folks park their boats. Between the two towers on the ground floor is a beautiful long stretching pool that is over 240 foot long end to end with cabanas available for the day and complete bottle service.
Above the main the pool is yet another pool that is gorgeous as well where you can actually see below the pool underneath creating a surreal view. On the edge of the water is the bar and restaurant to grab lunch or a few Corona Beers to relax. Oh and yes, the beach is literally right there to walk down towards and stroll near in or near the ocean water. The water itself is usually clean, nice, and warm since Hollywood is closer to the bottom of Florida. The Westin Diplomat Hotel routinely holds conferences there as it makes a great spot to host business events, given the combination of the beautiful hotel and available space.
Below is a list of other hotels in the area.
Where to stay –
- Family –
- Singles or without kids –
- Luxury –
- On a Budget
Now, let’s discuss one of the most important points, food. Of course the food should be a major priority here. Deerfield Beach showcases a few top notch spots that have extremely fresh seafood to serve. Let’s review over a few of those spots along with a good sports pub to catch a ballgame at night when the beachcombers need a break from the sand.
- Taco Spot – This is a great example of one of those “hole in the wall” spots that lives on the beach and just sticks to what they know best…tacos. I grabbed a few of the fish tacos like mahi mahi and shrimp tacos and their fresh taste had a bit of lime taste to accompany the tangy salsa on top as well. The Mexican corn on the cob is a definite try (tell them to grill longer to avoid soggy corn) as they are covered with pesto and cheese, really good flavor of salty and savory. There’s also a Fire Roasted Corn on the Cob that has cilantro and parmesan cheese that has that limey cheesy flavor…YUM. Lastly, the Korean Short Rib Taco is a worth a whirl, just ask for a sample to check how long it’s been cooked to make sure falling apart. Enjoy!
- Hollywood Prime – This is the upscale dinner spot you have been searching for in Hollywood Beach. It’s located within the Westin Diplomat, and can be a bit on the pricier side, but the food quality is outstanding. I have tried the lamb chops and the Prime Ribeye and neither was short of fantastic. The steaks are grilled with a standard broiler grill as their in house seasoning really gives off that extra flavor. If you are really hungry for some fresh lobster, there’s a 3.5 lb lobster from Maine that could satisfy your tastebuds as well. Personally, I’d go with the lobster tail for far less work, but if you are up to the challenge, it’s fantastic when prepared with butter braising. Yes, that’s correct, I said butter braising. Here’s a copy of the complete menu as well.
- GG’s on the Waterfront – GG’s is another great upscale restaurant with a bit lower prices than that of Hollywood Prime. They have a number of great appetizers to start off with like Crispy Calamari or the Crab, Spinach, and Artichoke Dip. Both have a very fresh seafood taste and are highly recommended for appetizers. There are a few flatbreads that are equally as good. I’d go with the Filet Mignon featuring Chimichurri Sauce, Carmelized Onions, Roasted Red Peppers, and fresh Mozzarella. Let’s move onto the dinner portion. If you are dining as a couple (it’s highly recommended to not bring the kids, as it’s very romantic), I’d skip most of the menu and go right for the surf ‘n’ turf consisting of a Filet Mignon and a Maine Lobster. It’s accompanied by a loaded baked potato, veggies, and drawn butter for the Lobster. Check out the full menu here to see all the offerings.
I would definitely describe Hollywood Beach as one of the more “fun” beaches mainly because of the immediate access to casinos and such so close. I’ve planned multiple birthdays, bachelor parties, and getaways here and it never disappoints. Speaking of which, if you need to plan a bachelor party and need help collecting the funds, check out Grouppaybook.com. If you would like to add to the article or feel like I missed your favorite spot, please feel free to leave it in the comments section so others can see too. I’m always willing to learn a new spot or ideas when it comes to Hollywood Beach, FL.